Union Sports Minister Anurag Thakur felicitates Asian Games Medalists from Shooting, Sailing, Wushu, Tennis and  gives away cash prizes

New Delhi, October 2023.

Union Sports Minister Anurag Singh Thakur felicitated the returning athletes from the Asian Games 2022 Shooting, Sailing, Wushu and Tennis contingent at an event in New Delhi today.

Speaking at the event, Shri Anurag Singh Thakur congratulated the athletes on their outstanding performances at the Asian Games. He said that their achievements have made the country proud. He also assured the athletes that the government is committed to providing them with all the support they need to excel in their chosen sport. “I extend my best wishes to all the players and I am sure when the finals (of Asian Games) will be conducted, players from India will be there with more number of medals. Soon Paris Olympics will be held and all eyes are on it. PM Modi has always encouraged the players to give their 100 per cent in all the games,” he said.

He also spoke about the importance of federations and the government’s schemes such as TOPS and Khelo India in supporting athletes. He said, “Federations have a big role to play. TOPS was started in 2014 with a vision to facilitate athletes and ensure their focus stays in sports. Khelo India scheme also provided the same support. I congratulate the shooting federation (NRAI) for bagging the biggest medals in Asian Games ever. In 2002, we had two medals in shooting, while we got 22 medals this time.

“We spent a total of Rs 38 crore in Shooting in the Paris cycle. For Wushu as well, a Rs 1.8 crore camp was set up ahead of the Asiad. Now with 7 days to go for the games, I still assure we will make the highest medal tally ever,” added the  Minister.

Athletes also expressed their gratitude to the government and their support teams for helping them achieve success at the Hangzhou games.

Roshibina, Wushu silver medalist, said, “We are indebted to the Coaches, SAI, federation for making us reach this position. I have trained at the SAI NCOE Imphal and have been well looked after over the years. Now my aim is to get a gold next time.”

Sift Kaur, 50m 3p individual gold medalist, said, “This was my 1st Asian Games and I didn’t know this my score would turn out to be a world record. The Khelo India scheme has been the most beneficial for me.”

Tokyo Olympian sailor Vishnu Saravanan, who bagged a bronze at the Asiad, said, “It has been a great Asian Games for all of us. I am thankful to the coaches, officials and especially our family, who have always supported us. Myself and other sailors are trying to put sailing on the map of India. I thank SAI ARN Pune as well for all the support. Let’s all focus on the main goal now to make it to Paris.”

The event on Monday was also attended by senior officials from the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, Sports Authority of India as well as by the families and friends of the athletes.